Heathrow calls for more young female engineers to apply for its engineering apprenticeships
By Teddington People | Wednesday, November 06, 2013, 13:15
Heathrow Airport this week called for more young female engineers to apply to its engineering apprenticeship scheme.
The announcement comes during Engineers Week, a Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) initiative, launched yesterday and ending on 8 November.
Engineers Week aims to highlight the range of careers available to engineers. The Department for BIS and Heathrow Airport, along with over 70 other partners, are seeking to encourage young women into engineering careers by demonstrating that engineering is a varied and challenging career path.
Mr Cable said ‘From music and fashion to automotive and aerospace, engineering plays a pivotal role across all sectors. The diversity offered through a career in engineering combined with excellent salaries and the opportunity to often travel the world, proves there is no reason why engineering shouldn’t be one of the top career choices for young people.’
Apprentices at Heathrow are funded through four years of an engineering qualification, earning up to £30,000 in their final year, whilst also gaining essential hands-on experience at the airport. The scheme has been in effect since 1977. With a 97% retention rate, apprentices gain from the airport’s need for engineers and a ready-made career at the UK’s hub.
Kelly Stone, head of the Heathrow engineering apprenticeship scheme, said ‘Heathrow really wants to encourage young women to apply to our engineering apprenticeship scheme, especially from the local area. In my experience, women are great problem-solvers and team players, two essential skills for engineers. Our female apprentices have been extremely successful within the scheme and have gone on to work in a whole range of roles across the airport.’
One former apprentice, Helena Joy, grew up in Hounslow and joined the airport as an apprentice in 1997. Helena has specialised in electronics and worked on a range of equipment, from CCTV to X-ray machines. Helena notes ‘I always knew engineering was for me as I enjoyed the more practical classes in school and loved doing the lighting electronics for school productions. The best part of my job at Heathrow is that it’s so varied, no two days are the same here.’
Heathrow’s apprenticeship scheme, in addition to the primary and secondary school challenges, aim to inspire young people both locally and nationally to think more about engineering. Engineering UK* estimates that Britain needs to double the number of recruits into engineering to meet demand. Yet just 20 per cent of 12-16 year olds express any knowledge of what people working in engineering do, and just 3% of all GCSEs taken in 2012 were in physics - a key subject for those wishing to study engineering at university.
Heathrow will be accepting applications to become an engineering apprentice in late February 2014. For more information regarding the scheme please visit: http://www.heathrowairport.com/about-us/heathrow-jobs/apprenticeships